Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our chapter Ambassadors.

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bucket with holes

I am trying so hard. To keep afloat. To not drown or go all the way under. But I don’t think I can.

I just miss her so much.

I want to be alone. Just locked inside this house..

Just be home. Doing nothing. Just us. I want to grab them all and just run away. I don’t want Tony to go to work.. or Jonathan to go to school. .. I want to just be near each other.

But for them I try. ..  I do. Not well though. I am lost .. All my old tricks aren’t working.

I am doing crossfit again. But instead of having that as a time to connect with people, to pull me out of myself It pushes me further inside.. I feel like an actress.. No connection. I am locked away.. trapped inside of myself.. Too weak to allow any of me out of hiding.

I am running too. And I feel good while I am doing it. Like I am able to nourish my relationship with her..  but it doesn’t last long.

So I am pulling out my old tricks. My before she died and got sick things that brought joy. I am cooking and baking all the time. Experimenting. But not finding the fulfillment I want from it. Mostly just guilt about the physical weight I carry.. Another reason to be disappointed in me.

I don’t understand. So much effort to breathe right now.

But I am trying. .. Its just nothing connects. Shouldn’t it be getting better by now? Easier? It is so much harder now. I think because I don’t feel like its ok to hurt this much still. .. this desperate ache..

We went to a football game on Friday night. At the school we held her services. The same game we went to about 2 years ago.. Right after she was diagnosed. My family is Scharrenberg and Calcagno. High school sports legends in this area. We had coaches and players on each side. .. I think both years.

But 2 years ago she was here. We walked on the field and the stadium prayed with us.. for us..

DSC_0110 (1)

2 years ago she was here.

So getting ready for the game it all hit me. She loved going to high school football games. Running around with her cousins.. staying up so late. I didnt want to go without her.


This picture is them... She feels safe and secure in his arms and he.. content and protective of his first baby.

This picture is them… She feels safe and secure in his arms and he.. content and protective of his first baby.

I got dressed in the same shirt my whole family wore that day. Team Jennifer. She wore hers too.

So I wore it. And I cried and cried trying to get myself ready to go. Simple tears. I just wanted her here. And I wanted her to be remembered. I wanted her to matter still.

This was a different day.. a day for kids with cancer and their families. .. She dressed her brothers in these shirts.

This was a different day.. a day for kids with cancer and their families. .. She dressed her brothers in these shirts.

As we drove I remembered the drive that morning in February to the same school campus. When we said our public goodbye. And I wanted to beg Tony to turn the car around. I wanted to smash my way out the car. But I just tried my best to breathe.. one shallow breath at a time.

As the teams took the field .. I was talking. But I heard “JLK” her name. My baby. JLK. So I cried. With my sister at first and then with my husband. I listened with my whole body. My heart and my mind and my soul too. I imagined her big.. huge enveloping the whole sky over the field. .. I don’t know how to describe it. But I did feel like she was nudging me..

See Mama.. See?

Oh how I needed that. I know people think I know. But I don’t. I need to be told. Over and over again that she is remembered. That you miss her. That she mattered. Over and over again.

I am a bucket with holes. I cannot be filled up enough with knowing she matters..

Special pink necklaces.. shirts.. and little sayings. please. I know. I am a bucket with holes.. but please keep pouring yourself into me.

And later I imagined her running with her cousins and brothers and sister. I can’t really see her though. Its a blurry image.. Like when there is movement as you take a picture. Fuzzy … but you still know who is in the picture.. even though its distorted somehow you know.


i just want to see you

visit me sissy.


clear and in focus.

DSC_0165..until there is a cure..

  1. Erika M says:

    She is remembered. She is missed. She matters.
    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Jennifer.
    Tomorrow we do froyo #forthembecauseofher.
    The world is always with you and your family, remembering and mourning.

  2. alexandra says:

    Friday was nails for my two girls today was the movie Pan in 3D all in memory of JLK #forThembecauseofher

  3. Lori B says:

    I remember her. Jennifer. I will always remember her. She matters very, very much. Her life was important and meaningful. Her spirit lives on… you, in your family, in everyone who knew her, or knows of her. Please, Libby, don’t let yourself doubt that. She will not be forgotten. Not ever.

  4. Kirsten says:

    Be gentle with yourself. Those new baby hormones, the oxytocin, the love and attachment hormone, is still coursing through you like no other. And you are so deeply attached to Jennifer. This raw time cannot be easy. Be gentle.
    She is missed. She is remembered. I come here everyday, and I only “met” you guys on the day she moved to heaven. Her light brought me here to your blog. The love you have for all your children teaches me everyday.

  5. Lisa Jack says:

    We had a weekend. Forthembecauseofher. We attended a wedding, then a friends house til wayyy past they’re bedtime. Today was church, then a movie…in a real theater out of town, then a country bday party. My house is a wreck, they were high on sugar, but I didn’t care. It was for them…to enjoy being kids!!!
    I love your family so much even though I don’t even know you. I pray for you, cry for you, and remember that sweet Brown eyed girl that loved being a big sister.

  6. Coyo says:

    I don’t think you will ever be whole again, you especially, the way you love her. From “whole” to “hole” there is only a letter missing, and the word changes completely, two completely opposite meanings. I don’t get it, because I am not living it, but I get how you feel this way because I know you and your LOVE for your children. So I will try to put some sand in that bucket, cover those holes for just a little while, then add more sand when it starts going through them. Jennifer is always present. Dragonflies fly around me, and I smile. I drive by the cemetery, and I look for her, and I ache for you. We play with play-dough, and Jennifer comes to my mind. She is not forgotten, Libby. And one day, when her cells do something even bigger than what they’ve already done, the world will know her name forever. Jennifer Lynn Kranz.
    I love you, all.

  7. Linda Blundo says:

    She is remembered. She is very loved. She is very missed. I think about her everyday. I wear my JLK bracelet everyday. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  8. Alex Rodriguez says:

    Hi Libby,

    I don’t have the pleasure of knowing you or your beautiful family personally, but I want you to know that your words, your blog, your family. Jennifer. has touched my life. Every single time I look at my kids, my daughter, I think of Jennifer. She is thought of. She is remembered. She has changed our lives. I pray for you to find strength, I pray for a miracle. I pray that she comes to you in your dreams loud and clear. You are though of and she is most definitely remembered. Sweet JLK. XXX

  9. Tina says:

    I didn’t know Jennifer. I stumbled across this site one day, I can’t even remember how, and started reading your blog. I was at the most recent entry, so I went back to the beginning to start reading the story…and I sobbed. Sitting at work I just cried like it was my own child. Your pain is so raw, and so heartfelt, and so personal. I give to Unravel because of Jennifer. No mother should have to watch her child die of cancer. The statistics are depressing, and I did not know them until now. I give because if it was my child, I would want someone to give to us. Jennifer is not forgotten. Her legacy lives on in your memory of her, and in this amazing cause you have embraced…that no other child should have to be lost to this disease due to a lack of research and funding. You have touched my heart. Jennifer has touched my heart. And I will never be able to not give to pediatric cancer. I can never go back to not knowing.

  10. Silvia Cummings says:

    She will never NOT matter. I don’t comment often, but I read every time you put up a new entry. She will always matter, Libby. Even to people like me who have never met her. Keep listening, she will find ways to let you know.

  11. Kat says:

    You are exactly where you are destined to be right now on this road. There is no supposed to be, there is just where you are. You are surrounded by people who will fill up your bucket and over time, they will help mend whatever holes are able to be mended. She mattered and so do you. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself and in that space, I pray you will most feel her love for you shining down from Heaven.

  12. Sheree says:

    We were there praying with you, She is missed!

  13. melissa says:

    I never met your Jennifer and yet not a day goes by that I don’t think about her, about you. She is missed even by those she never met.

  14. Debbie says:

    Jennifer is remembered and loved by those who had the blessing of knowing her personally, and those who grew to love her as we learned of her. You asked a question as to whether this should be getting easier after this amount of time. There is no magical number, date, month, or year that will ever make it easier as far as I know. Everyone’s grief is there own process, their own timetable. Give yourself permission to do that grieving for as long as you need to, and then even when you feel it’s over remember it will return, maybe not as harsh, but enough to knock you down just might rise faster than before. It’s like a cycle. Remember this, Jennifer knew she was loved, no doubt in her mind, and heart, and she is still loved. My thoughts and prayers remain with you and your family, as always. <3

  15. Ronnie G says:

    Rest assured Jennifer has a permanent place in my heart, in my thoughts and in my everyday, never to be forgotten. ❤️

  16. Lori says:

    This is exactly what I was saying yesterday. I talk things out, maybe over talk. Because I learned from my dear friend, when she lost her daughter…that’s what she wanted. We always talk about her, always say her name. She always wants to know that we think about Trin, so we tell her. We post pics when we visit her heaven spot, we share our memories.
    We tend to do the same with Jennifer, we always swig by and say hello when we visit our “cousin” Trinity. My daughter met Jennifer only once at Girl Scouts, my son never did. But, through fluttering and through your blog and friends and work…we feel like we do know her & feel her spirit. It’s awesome, because it makes us want to be better every day! Thank you for sharing her with us! We try to live up to her memory through our actions. She is loved and remembered at our house, for sure!! ❤️

  17. She is missed. She is remembered. She matters. Always!

  18. Corrie says:

    Who could ever forget Jennifer. She was my co-pilot when home searching with your parents, and always so very good. Even on those long car rides. Good as gold. I don’t know if you remember the day Max played with her and decided at the end of the day that we should adopt her? I had to explain that she already had a mom and dad. Turns out, the best ones ever, in you and Tony. Lucky girl, lucky parents. Jennifer will never be forgotten. Her life mattered and always will. Sending you all love and hugs.

  19. Elizabet says:

    Jennifer matters – so much. I never met you or your beautiful JLK, but yet I never forget. I am still torn to tears when I think of you and JLK. I am still inspired to make a difference.

  20. AJ says:

    Is it possible that there is some post-partum depression going on that is compounding your grief? I thought you had written about that somewhere in this blog before. Of course you are still missing her and grieving deeply, but this sounds different than what you usually write and it actually sounds more like depression/hormones are playing a bigger role here than you might realize. It might not be a bad idea to check in with your doctor? Maybe there is a blood test to check our hormone levels and see if everything is where it should be 2 almost 2 months after birth.

  21. Christina says:

    She matters. Those of us who never had the pleasure of meeting your family and sweet JLK only know her through you and your beautiful writing. Your love for her shines through. She will never be forgotten….never! Thank you for opening up and sharing your pain and the reality of childhood cancer. Jennifer matters. Always.

  22. Laura says:

    She’s not forgotten even across the country. I look every day looking for your words and her smile. I hope you pull out of this soon and learn to move around with this pain. I just don’t think it’ll ever go away…you will just learn to live with it better. Wish it wasn’t this way.

  23. Natacha says:

    For all it’s worth coming from a stranger – from the moment I have become aware of Jennifer’s life and story, I have not stopped thinking about her. Jennifer and your family are always on my mind. Her beautiful spirit is on my mind. Her struggle and strength in battle are on my mind. She is not forgotten, she cannot be forgotten. She’ll always be missed. And she’ll always matter because her spirit is so brightly alive. Keeping you all in my thoughts.

  24. jennifer says:

    We think about Jennifer every day and I love wearing my LOVE4JLK/Unravel gear whether it is my tank top, sweatshirt or glittery Headband- they all matter because SHE matters:)))

  25. Kristy says:

    A little over a week ago I saw you at Costco in Gilroy with three of your children. I wanted to say hi but felt silly since I don’t actually know you. I’ve met you at unravel events and I feel like I know you but I really don’t so I felt silly to say hi. You probably saw me keep looking at you (we were both wearing our babies) and what I want you to know now was that as I was looking at you I was telling my daughters that “that is Jennifer’s mommy.” I was explaining to them that JLK on my bracelets was for Jennifer and that you were wearing her little sister and that it was Jennifer’s brother and sister in your shopping cart. I’m sorry I didn’t say hi and let you know we were thinking about you and about Jennifer but I want you to know we were. We talk about unravel every time one of my girls asks to wear my bracelets and we think of Jennifer every time we pass the dragonflies on our front porch. She’ll always be remembered! ??

  26. Sally M says:

    Oh Libby, Jennifer will never be forgotten by me either. Whenever I read “my very wanted child” to my kids I think of her. Whenever my youngest insists on wearing whatever fashion creation she’s come up with I think of Jennifer. Whenever my girls want to go crazy with glitter I think of Jennifer and allow it when I never would have before. Her precious life will never be forgotten. And positive changes in the treatment of dipg will come because of her and because of you. ?

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